|#71 GARRY STWALLEY|
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From Garry: In 1967 I was fortunate to be hired by Statistical Tabulation Corporation, a computer service company in St. Louis. That was the start of my 35 year career in the field of Information Technology. During that time I have held a number of different positions until I retired in 2002.
I received my Bachelor Degree in Computer Data Processing and MBA (Finance) from Pittsburg State while I was working in their Computer Department in the early and mid 70ís. After leaving Pittsburg in the late 70ís I managed the application development staff for Texas Information Systems in Houston which provided IT services for oil and shipping companies. In the early 80ís I moved back to Kansas and worked for the Gas Service Company in Kansas City. In the mid 80ís they were bought by Kansas Power and Light located in Topeka, which is today Westar Energy. I was transferred from Kansas City to Topeka in 1988. Instead of living in Topeka I bought a farm just north of Melvern, 30 miles south of Topeka. I held a number of different positions with Westar Energy mainly in application development, project management and data management. I retired from Westar Energy in 2002.
After a couple of year of retirement I felt something was missing so I bought a Bar and Grill in Melvern. My two daughters Andrea and Amy were both going to Emporia State and I felt they needed something to do with their spare time. It was a great and interesting time. I really donít know who the boss was during the whole time, but can only thank my wife Cathy for getting us through this period. Like they say if you work in a candy shop, you have to try all the candy so you can tell the customers which is the best. I can testify that I tried a lot of candy. After three years of testing the candy both girls graduated with business degrees and we sold the bar and grill.
When we bought the farm my wife every once in awhile would ask what are you going to do with a farm? I would reply raise race horses, just kidding. Well in 1999, there is a saying that itís easier to buy a race horse than to sell one, I bought my first racing quarter horse. And she was good and won her first race. So, I bought another. I really enjoyed the horses and after a couple of years I had a couple of good runners and some breeding mares. I was elected to and served on the board of the Kansas Quarter Horse Racing Association (KQHRA) for 9 years and was president for 2 years. I also served on the board of the Kansas Horseman Association (KHA) for 6 years and was president for 2 years. KQHRA leased the Eureka Downs race track at Eureka KS. The association would hold the annual racing even at Eureka Downs which normally ran from the first weekend of May until the 4th of July. For the rest of the year it was opened for a training facility. KHA was the registering agent for race horses for the state of Kansas. We would work with the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission on racing programs and regulations. After the casino legislation passed and Wichita Greyhound Park closed all horse racing tracks closed in Kansas. I decided in 2008 it was time to give it up, but still have a couple of good mares - does anybody need one?
Cathy and I keep the farm going, our two daughters are now married and live pretty close, one has two children a boy and girl, the other is expecting their first early next year. We garden and have some Angus cattle and the horses which keep us busy. However, I can always find time to go golfing, fishing, or hunting.
Canít believe itís been 50 years.
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